10 Years of


Cherished among our community and team, Bodha has been part of our journey since its beginnings in 2014.

LUCA / July 2, 2024

Rooted in the belief that scent holds the power to reconnect us with ourselves, perfumer & aromatherapist Emily L’Ami, alongside her partner Fred L’Ami, founded BODHA in 2014 with the intention to inspire others to live a more sensory life.

Beginning with the study of incense, the most ancient form of perfume, the duo set out to explore scents that would awaken the senses, as well as nurture moments of connection with ourselves and our lives. This led to the introduction of their beloved Smokeless Incenses, crafted in the island of Awaji, also known as Japan’s ‘Incense Island.’ In addition to their incense, however, Bodha has remained committed to offering a range of intentional products that foster the integration of rituals into our day-to-day lives. 

Ten years later, Emily & Fred continue to meticulously research, design, and develop each Bodha piece, from creating their  unique therapeutic scents to designing the final packaging of the products, with a steadfast commitment to offering enriching sensory experiences to their community. 

Since our initial encounter with Bodha ten years ago, our team has grown fond not only of the brand’s enriching products, but also of its enduring ethos, one that resonates with us to this day. To commemorate ten years of sharing this beloved brand with our community, we set out to interview Emily L’Ami in hopes of gaining a more intimate look at Bodha, alongside her creative process as founder.

How did scent become such an integral part of your personal and professional journey?

I've always been fascinated by scent's ability to shift emotions and tap into the deeper aspects of our consciousness. Growing up, my mum used incense & essential oils, so the rituals and health benefits of scent surrounded me. I studied aromatherapy in New Zealand and went to perfume school in Los Angeles. I continue to take courses worldwide, especially in the growing science of scent medicine.

What compelled you to begin Bodha’s journey with the exploration of smokeless incense? Why did you gravitate towards smokeless versus its traditional form?

When we began BODHA 10 years ago, I knew I wanted to start with incense. It's the original form of perfume & my first scent memory. Growing up, the strong incense scents and smoke bothered me, so I wanted to see if we could create something more clean & refined with gentle scents and no smoke.

How did your experience in Japan’s ‘Incense Island’ influence your journey as a perfumer?

When we decided to start with incense, we knew we needed to go to the home of the world's best — Japan. Hundreds of years ago, the Emporer of the day decreed that this small island off the coast would be the country's incense maker, and ever since families have passed the craft along through generations. It took us years to even get a meeting. I had to prove my expertise & commitment, but it was worth it. Working with people who care so much and see their craft as a lifetime dedication is a special thing to be part of.

What inspires you to continue developing Bodha’s scents in your own private studio, rather than outsourcing the development process?

It's unusual for a fragrance brand to have an in-house perfumer, let alone to be run by one. Using off-the-shelf blends or contracting out your scent work to a fragrance house is the usual way because it's quicker and cheaper. On the other hand, how I do things is long, slow & very personal. I want to know the suppliers of each ingredient, be able to ensure its therapeutic effect, and, most of all, know precisely what's going into our formulas. Perfuming is a little like being a chef & as one of my perfume heroes, Christophe Laudamiel, said, 'Would you eat at a restaurant with no chef in the kitchen?'

What moved you towards opening up your studio to the Bodha community through the Scent Club?

We've wanted to share our sensory world with people for a long time. We just needed a space, so we built a dedicated BODHA studio! Now, we can host all sorts of Scent Club events, from workshops to informal get-togethers in the scent garden.

One of the things that resonates most with us about Bodha is the consistency and intentionality behind its products. What do you believe inspires you to maintain such constancy in an ever-changing digital world?

I love that you see that! Intentionality is so important to me, and we've chosen to retain that by keeping BODHA at a human, personal scale. In America, there is enormous pressure to grow and outsource. It's an idea of success that values profit over people, leaving us disconnected from each other and what we truly value. We're consciously choosing to hold onto what we care about, and we hope you feel it every time you use our products.

Looking back at Bodha’s ten years as a fragrance studio, what do you feel most proud of having achieved since its beginnings? What is something you’re looking forward to exploring in the brand’s near future?

I am most proud of the small ways we've brought people moments of sensory connection and calm. We often get notes with orders or emails from customers telling us stories of how using our products has helped them, and I treasure these stories the most. I'm looking forward to exploring other mediums and Scent Club. I've just finished the fragrances for a new atmospheric collection launching in September, so keep an eye out!